Parts of Regional New South Wales Will Come Out of Lockdown on September 11
Stay-at-home conditions will lift in parts of regional NSW that are deemed low risk and have had zero COVID cases for at least a fortnight.
After just under a month of statewide stay-at-home conditions, much of regional New South Wales will come out of lockdown at 12.01am on Saturday, September 11. The move will apply to regional areas that are deemed low risk and have had zero COVID cases for at least a fortnight — and that date should sound familiar, as that's what was targeted when the regional lockdown was last extended at the end of August.
Obviously, nothing substantial will change in Greater Sydney until 70 percent of the state has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine; however, Premier Gladys Berejiklian had previously signalled that some regional parts of the state could move to eased conditions before then. So, that's exactly what's happening — although life won't be returning to pre-lockdown normality just yet.
Announcing the news at the state's daily COVID-19 press conference today, Thursday, September 9, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said "while unfortunately many regional LGAs will remain in lockdown due to COVID case numbers, for other parts of the state, stay-at-home orders will be lifted." He continued: "this decision is based on NSW Health advice, and the LGAs which remain in lockdown will continue to be monitored and we will update those communities on a regular basis."
If you're wondering which spots will no longer be under stay-at-home rules, it's actually easier to name which Local Government Areas will still be in lockdown — which is what the NSW Government has done. It's a hefty list, and spans Bathurst, Bega, Blayney, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Cabonne, Central Coast, Central Darling, Cessnock, Dubbo, Dungog, Eurobodalla, Forbes, Gilgandra and Goulburn Mulwarre, as well as Kiama, Lake Macquarie, Lithgow, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Mid-Western, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Narromine, Newcastle, Orange, Parkes, Port Stephens, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Singleton, Snowy Monaro, Upper Hunter, Walgett and Wingecarribee.
The NSW Government has also put together a map, outlining in white the areas that won't be in lockdown — and marking the places that'll remain under stay-at-home conditions in red.
If you live in a regional LGA that's coming out of lockdown, you'll no longer need to abide by the stay-at-home rules from Saturday, September 11, and will instead be able to go out whenever you like. Also, five-person at-home and 20-person outdoor gatherings will permitted, so get ready to see your family and friends.
Hospitality venues can reopen, too, with the one person per four-square-metres rule applying inside and the one person per two-square-metres rule outside. And if you're eager to stand up and drink (yep, hello vertical consumption), you'll need to do that outdoors only.
When it comes to shopping, retail stores can reopen under the one person per four-square-metres rule. Hairdressers, nail salons and other personal services businesses can open with one person per four-square-metres as well, with a maximum of five clients at each premises.
Keen for a workout? Gyms and indoor recreation facilities will reopen under that one person per four-square-metres requirement as well, and can host classes with up to 20 people. Sporting facilities including swimming pools can also reopen.
Eager to head to a show, watch some sport or see a movie? Major recreation outdoor facilities — which spans stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos — will be under the one person per four-square-metres rule, with a cap of 5000 people. At other outdoor ticketed and seated events, 500 people can attend. And, indoors venues such as cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries will be allowed to reopen with the one person per four-square-metres rule in place, or by filling to a maximum of 75-percent fixed seated capacity.
LOCKDOWN LIFTED IN PARTS OF REGIONAL NSW pic.twitter.com/XFCNffmNER
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 9, 2021
Regarding weddings, they'll go up to 50 guests and allow dancing, but you'll only be able to eat and drink while sitting. The same caps will apply for funerals as well, and churches and places of worship will be able to open under the one person per four-square-metres limit.
Caravan parks and camping grounds will be allowed to open also, so regional travel is back on the cards for resident of regional LGAs coming out of lockdown.
And, masks will be required in all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports. Outdoors, though, only hospitality staff will be required to mask up.
The news about ending the regional lockdown in most areas comes as New South Wales recorded 1405 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday — and also as the Premier announced the first stage of the state's roadmap out of lockdowns moving forward. When the roadmap kicks in for locked-down areas at the 70-percent fully vaxxed mark, they'll move to the same conditions that are coming into place in much of regional NSW this week.
As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, NSW residents are still asked to continue to frequently check NSW Health's long list of locations and venues that positive coronavirus cases have visited. If you've been to anywhere listed on the specific dates and times, you'll need to get tested immediately and follow NSW Health's self-isolation instructions.
And in terms of symptoms, you should be looking out for coughs, fever, sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, or loss of smell or taste — and getting tested at a clinic if you have any.
Published on September 09, 2021 by Sarah Ward